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I first saw this question on another forum. (I didn't write the question originally on that forum. )The answer provided there didn't seem complete or understandable to me, so I thought I would ask here.

Specifically, I'm unsure of the meaning of the phrase in bold. I understand the literal meaning of many of them, but how does "efforts" go together with this phrase?

"So while some traditional trades - malster and blacksmith - had declined or vanished, they had been replaced by others, many of them efforts New Agey, Back-to-the-Land, and Save-the-Planet in nature." -- G.M.Malliet - Wicked autumn

Larger context:

The Internet had aided this transformation by allowing villagers ... to set up shop as potters and booksellers ... and sell online what goods they could not sell in their stores. ... Most of all, objects from Awena Owen's Goddessspell flew off the shelves. So to speak.

So while some traditional trades—malster and blacksmith, saddler and wheelwright—had declined or vanished, they had been replaced by others, many of them efforts New Agey, Back-to-the-Land, and Save-the-Planet in nature. The villagers quickly had discovered that city dwellers would pay almost any price for a product labelled "organic" or "handmade."

  • No offense, but The spelling of "vanishe" and "BAck-to-Land" made me doubt the authenticity of the quoted passage. – Damkerng T. Dec 11 '13 at 15:46
  • Yea I detected the spelling of "vanishe", but kept it as it is as it was the same thing I quoted. – Man_From_India Dec 11 '13 at 15:48
  • A quick look at the passage on Google Books seems to indicate that the misspellings are not the fault of the author but that of whoever first posted the question. That being said, what about that phrase confuses you? There are several different ways to approach the question depending on what you're looking for. – Jonathan Garber Dec 11 '13 at 16:21
  • Well I understand the meaning of "many of them". I believe it's usage here mean the normal literal meaning. Then the "efforts" confuses me. Please explain the meaning, and their usage. – Man_From_India Dec 11 '13 at 16:27
  • Hmm. Alright. I edited your question a little to make it clearer what you are asking. (Or at least as I understand it.) I also fixed the errors in the quote since they aren't really important to your question, and they were not present in the original text. If my edit was incorrect, please do your own edit to bring it more in line with what you were asking. – Jonathan Garber Dec 11 '13 at 17:49
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+100

Efforts and many of them refer to others, which in turns refers back to trades. One could more simply write out the meaning as

So while some trades… had declined or vanished, they had been replaced by others, many of which were New Agey… in nature.

or more explicitly as

So while some trades… had declined or vanished, those trades had been replaced by others. Many of these other efforts were New Agey… in nature.

  • Your last sentence "Many of these other efforts were New Agey… in nature." seems as if a hint that a sentence such as "Many of them efforts New Agey, Back-to-the-Land, and Save-the-Planet in nature," is good English (or at least acceptable). – Damkerng T. Dec 11 '13 at 19:07
  • Thanks. But I'm really curious about the style of writing of the author. For example, I found this sentence in an excerpt from the same book, She stood, feet solidly planted, a vital, comely, and charismatic figure who, although essentially otherworldly, managed to operate her New Age gift shop on a large profit margin. I'm not sure how many ellipses were made, because it looks like a run-on sentence to me. – Damkerng T. Dec 11 '13 at 19:23
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    @DamkerngT. In that sentence, I would say there is no ellipsis at work, just an unusually long string of apposition all referring back to she. – choster Dec 11 '13 at 19:26
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    Actually, upon consideration, I don't think ellipsis is at work in the original; I removed the reference to it as it will confuse matters. – choster Dec 11 '13 at 19:27
  • I still couldn't parse that She stood ... sentence, and it might deserve to be another question on its own. If possible, you can help me parse it there: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/14306/…. – Damkerng T. Dec 11 '13 at 19:43
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The more correct versions would be

Many of the other efforts being....

Many of these other efforts being.....

Many of those other efforts being....

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